Thespians earn top honors at state conference

On March 29, three dozen McNicholas thespians, along with a handful of chaperones, embarked for the Akron School for the Performing Arts at Firestone CLC in Akron, Ohio, for the annual Ohio Thespian Conference March 29-31.

According to the Ohio Thespian website, The Ohio Thespian Conference is an annual trip attended by “more than 1500 Thespians from across Ohio.” Theatre students have the opportunity to participate in workshops, perform in shows, and compete in a variety of challenges referred to as “IEs,” or Individual Events. These events range from singing and dancing, toward the technical side of theatre with lighting design and costume construction.

McNicholas’s own thespians competed in several categories including Solo Mime, Solo Musical, Solo Monologue, Duet Scene, and Costume Design, with Duet Scene performed by McNicholas junior Brianna Taylor and senior Ellie White and Costume Design presented by McNicholas senior Elyse Thaman. These three received perfect scores in their respective categories and presented/performed at the IE showcase Sunday morning, the final day of the conference. McNicholas’s fall production of The Matchmaker also won top honor this year. The cast was invited to bring the show to State conference but according to De Zarn, they were unable to perform the play at State due to the musical being so soon after the conference.  “We hope to take a production next year,” De Zarn added.

“It felt wonderful to be fulfilled in all our hard work, and then present for the students. They were all so supportive and the air felt electric,” White said.

“I was in a strong state of disbelief… I was also very excited since I spent two months on my project and it was very important to me,” Thaman said.

The trip is led annually by McNicholas Theatre teacher and director, Teresa De Zarn. “Our students were fantastic ambassadors for our school and I for one, am very proud of them,” De Zarn said.

Conference 2
Senior Elyse Thaman’s costume design earned her a perfect score at the annual Ohio Thespian Conference March 29-31. She chose to focus her Costume Design IE on The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde.
Conference 3
Senior Elyse Thaman, junior Brianna Taylor, and senior Ellie White stand in front of the Kersekr Theatre at the Akron School for the Performing Arts before their performance at The Ohio Thespian Conference. Afterward, Taylor and White performed their duet scene “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” by Tira Palmquist.

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